Today, there is an increasing number of traumatic events
that affect our daily lives. These events are no longer regu-lated
to the home or the workplace, but are unfortunately
becoming more frequent in the community. When a cri-sis
takes place, it’s important for Employee Assistance Programs
(EAPs) to support employees, as well as the community. Actions to
be taken include crisis management, counselling services, coaching
for specific coping strategies, advocacy and community support.
EXPLORING THE NECESSITY
FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT
A crisis can occur anytime, anywhere. Even if a crisis does not imme-diately
impact the team, the effects can still be felt among employees.
This is the difference between being directly impacted and indi-rectly
impacted by a crisis. Direct impact means that a crisis will
affect employees on a personal level (e.g. the sudden death of a fellow
employee) and indirect impact means that employees are affected by a
crisis that has occurred outside of their scope (e.g. a school shooting).
Employees hold other roles in addition to the one they hold
in the workplace. They are parents, children, siblings, friends,
and above all, they are individuals. As individuals, they show dis-tress
and discomfort in their own visible and non-visible ways,
and often in their own time. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is
a mental health concern that can occur as a result of unresolved
or unaddressed trauma. The effects of this disorder can be long
lasting, and in some cases, harmful. It’s crucial that HR leaders
address any crisis situation immediately. Addressing a crisis with
employees and offering them EAP services can help to decrease
the potentially chronic effects of trauma.
If a crisis occurs at a distance, it can be traumatizing for the com-munity
as a whole, as many people can have personal experiences
that relate to the crisis itself. Peer and community support are
important in moving towards healing, especially for any employee
who feels as though they have been immediately impacted by trag-edy.
EAP providers can facilitate the community support needed
for employees to recover from a traumatizing event through crisis
intervention, counselling services, medical referrals and follow-ups.
HOW EAPs CAN HELP
IN TIMES OF CRISES
By Charles Benayon
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ FEBRUARY 2019 ❚ 17